Want to know how the Liberal Democrats make policy?

The preamble to the Liberal Democrat constitution

Thanks to the kind permission of Federal Policy Committee (FPC) member Jeremy Hargreaves, I added to the Liberal Democrat Newswire his highly accessible and thorough guide to how the Liberal Democrats make policy.

With party policy making in many people’s minds thanks to a recent flurry of different policy activity, now therefore seems a good time to let readers who haven’t yet discovered the guide know all about it.

It covers the full range from the way the party leader is involved through to how ordinary party members can help make policy.

You can read Jeremy’s guide to how the Liberal Democrats make policy here.

3 responses to “Want to know how the Liberal Democrats make policy?”

  1. This is such a helpful summary that it should be shared with all existing members and included in the starter pack for new members, especially as there are so many who now wish to be part of the policy making process.
    One thing I am unclear on is whether relevant interest groups have a right to be consulted by policy working groups? There seem to have been at least a couple of times recently when those groups have been unhappy with the process.
    There also doesn’t seem to be any mechanism, other than coming up with full blown policy motions, for members to suggest areas of policy making which might be relevant for FPC to consider. This would get away from the need for members to draft meticulous motions for FCC which can also be seen as a way of muzzling members.
    It is interesting that the activities of Your Liberal Britain are running outside the party structures at present. I think what they are doing is excellent but unless there is a proper means for their activities to be reported to and acted upon by the official groups then members are likely to become frustrated and feel disillusioned with the party.
    I am concerned that what appears to be happening at the moment is that the party pays lip service to one member one vote, but in actual fact the membership is presented with a done deal and is unable to influence attitudes before policy is set in concrete. I have spent enough time trying to involve residents in decision making to know that consultation needs to happen at the start of the process not at the end. Otherwise good ideas are lost and the whole thing becomes an exercise in frustration and distrust.

    • Hello Sue! I’m the founder of YLB, and was delighted to spot your kind comments about our work here. A lovely way to start the day. Thank you!

      Can you tell me a little more about your concerns about YLB’s relationship to official groups though? I just want to make sure I fully understand you before I respond.

      I’m also not sure exactly what you mean by official groups. Do you mean the FPC, or local parties, or party bodies like Lib Dem Women or the Association of Lib Dem Engineers and Scientists? Or all of the above? =)



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